Based on the Northside of Chicago, Half Acre Brewing has just recently made its way to New Jersey and started arriving in our stores. Since starting in 2008 they operate two breweries, one on Lincoln Ave that features there original tap room, a retail store and a kitchen. Their second location on Balmoral was built in 2015 and the just recently opened Tap room and Garden. I had the chance to visit the Lincoln Ave location while in Chicago this past summer and recommend it to any one visiting the area. Plenty of different styles beers on tap along with some killer homemade potato chips from their kitchen.
www.halfacrebeer.com “This beer has classic IPA heft. Many hop forward beers of the modern are defined by omission. GoneAway shines from raw material impact on both sides of the equatorial flavor hemispheres. Big grapefruit, green strawberry, resin, pine, dank, light honey, cracker, tropical mango/guava, assertive bitterness, pine sap, clean, dry finish.“
ABV: 7% IBU’s: 60
Head: Small of white head, fades quickly. The pour is slightly cloudy with an orange hue and mild carbonation.
Nose: Mostly floral with sharp pine, plenty of hops and a little bit of lemon and tropical fruits.
Palate: Medium Bodied and smooth. Hops show the most with a slight resin like feel. The finish is crisp with a good acidity.
Overall: Really tasty stuff, everything you want in a hop forward IPA while staying very drinkable. I was excited when I heard this was making its way to New Jersey after trying a handful of their beers in Chicago and looking forward to more to come.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Pints
Port Brewing and The Lost Abby have been around for over a decade now and in that time have a created pretty unique brands. While they make many different styles of beer, IPA’s played a major role in there growth over the years and now as a joint venture they are starting a new concept focused solely on IPA’s. The Hop Concept Freshener Series aims at simplifying IPA’s by telling you exactly what to expect on the label and using new hop combinations. Each release will be quarterly, sold in 22oz bottles with different hop combinations and meant to be consumed as fresh as possible.
TheHopConcept.com – “Aromas of floral citrus and mango dominate this release. While the flavor leads with a burst of bright papaya, pineapple and tangerine, and finishes with hints of spice from the hops and a clean, sweet malt undertone.”
ABV: 8.5% IBU’s: 85
Pour: A clear orange color, slight haziness. A medium off white head lingers before fading away.
Nose: Lots of citrus fruits from the start, mostly grapefruit and oranges with some tropical notes. Fair amount of pine with a little bit of malt.
Palate: Super juicy, exploding with fruit notes. More mango flavors than grapefruit and oranges but plenty tropical fruits here coming together. Good amount of pine with some resin, little bit of malt before a clean finish.
Overall: With IPA’s being one of the most popular styles of beers out there, most brewers are looking for a way to take them to the next level. This was nice throwback to a simpler style with a focuse on the hops and freshness. The name pretty much sums it all and the label was right on the nose, Tropical & Juicy.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.7 out of 5 Pints
Ballast Point was founded in 1996 by Jack White, a home brewer who opened Home Brew Mart just 4 years earlier. 20 years later, Ballast Point has 6 locations in California and one in Virginia with tasting rooms where beer lovers can take a tour of the facility, have a few pints or take a growler to go. Over the years they have won countless medals at numerous beer competitions and were named “Small Brewery Champion” at the World Beer Cup.
Fathom IPA is brewed to showcase what a west-coast style IPA has to offer, made to be a clean easy drinking IPA.
ABV: 6% IBU’s: 50
Pour: A rich golden color with plenty or carbonation. The head is white and frothy, fades slowly sticking to the side of the glass.
Nose: Classic west-coast nose, lots of pine needles with some orange peel in the background.
Palate: Light-bodied with good amount of citrus. Really nice hop presence that has almost resin like feel but isn’t sticky, just stays for a minute before a clean finish with moderate acidity.
Overall: A really good brew, highlights a lot of the characteristics you would expect in a west-coast IPA but super sessionable. Great to take along on your weekend trips or to enjoy with a nice burger and fries.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Pints
Based in Auburn California, Knee Deep Brewing has been around since mid-2010. They started contract brewing out of another facility, and only sold their beers in kegs. 7 years later, they now operate a 28,000 square foot facility and produce 16 year round offerings, along with seasonal releases and small batches only available in their tasting room.
Breaking Bud is a West Coast IPA brewed with 3 different hop varieties and won a Bronze Medal for American IPA’s at the 2016 Great American Beer Festival.
ABV: 6.5% IBU’s: 50
Head: A small off white head forms and leaves some lacing as it fades away.
Pour: A golden honey color, slightly hazy with light carbonation.
Nose: A big hop presence. Hints of fruit but mostly notes of lemon and a little tangerine.
Palate: Very mild considering the amount of pine on the nose. Medium bodied with a sharp but quick hop flavor before a smooth finish. There’s almost no acidity on the finish giving it a very airy feel.
Overall: Really enjoyable, I was expecting a very hop forward IPA from the nose but this was surprisingly mellow. A solid IPA that was very easy to drink. Fans of super hoppy IPA’s may want a little more, but the combination of a hoppy start and airy finish make a great combination.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 4 Out Of 5 Pints
A local NJ favorite, River Horse Brewing Company has grown into one of the area premier craft breweries. I have had the pleasure of visiting this brewery on multiple occasions, and though I do miss the old location in the charming town of Lambertville, the new production facility allows for a better visit.
Citrus Maximus IPA is double dosed with Citra hops, by adding them in the boil, and again during the dry hop where they combine with Mosaic for a complex fruity aroma. They also used huge amounts of passion fruit and white grapefruit to create this super citrus, refreshing IPA.
Pour: Cloudy yellow orange.
Head: Nice, thick off-white head
Nose: A lot of citrus notes and grapefruit.
Palate: Very juicy on the palate. Big grapefruit flavor, with citrus notes.
Finish: Subtle hop notes finish out the experience to balance out the citrus flavors on the palate.
Overall: A very nice pour. Easy drinker with session level ABV. Worth picking up a four pack.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints
The first craft brewery in historic Asbury Park NJ, Dark City Brewing opened off Main Street 18 months ago. Founded by lifelong Mommouth County resident Kevin Sharpe, the brewery features three 15-barrel fermenters, and a tasting room that features a line of core beers, mixed with seasonal and occasional limited releases that vary from IPA’s to Gose with collaborations from other local business.
Blue Bishop is an IPA with mosaic hops, fermented over a huge amount of Blueberries for a fruity finish.
ABV: 5.5% IBU’s: 45
Pour: (from Tap) A dark reddish almost mahogany color, the blueberries really imparted a nice color.
Head: Thin off-white lingers before leaving with no lacing.
Nose: A nice mix of hops and fruit, each there without over powering.
Palate: Lots of flavor and easy to drink. The hops lead with nice pine notes and hint acidity before the blueberries send it all home. The finish is clean, refreshing and leaves you coming back for more.
Overall: Awesome stuff! Some of our Bottle King stores have started receiving small shipments of Dark City, but this is the first I’ve tried and definitely won’t be the last. Just awesome! Enjoy with spicy pulled pork, oysters or fruit salad.
Great Lakes Brewing Company, founded in 1988 by brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway, was the first brewpub and microbrewery in Ohio. What started as a dream between two brothers, has grown into the 21st largest brewery by volume in United States. Important to Cleveland’s local identity, the brewery distributes over a dozen year round and seasonal brews.
Steady Rollin is single hop session IPA brewed with mosaic hops and made to be an easy going IPA.
ABV: 4.8% IBU: 50
Pour: A really rich amber color, clean with plenty of carbonation.
Head: Off-white and very thin, disappears about as quickly as it formed.
Nose: Floral, there’s a nice hop presence giving a good amount of pine. Some light tropical fruits notes in the background as well.
Palate: Lighter than expected, almost no malt notes at all. The hops are mild but still have pine punch and almost sticky feel in the mouth. Tropical fruit brings it together with just hint of acidity at the end.
Overall: Not what I was expecting but an overall nice session IPA. The mosaic hops really leave nice flavor and fruit while still leaving a bit of resin behind. Another solid beer from team at Great Lakes Brewing. Pair with chicken, spicy grilled sausages or fresh summer salad.
Beer Buyer Overall Rating: 3.5 Out Of 5 Pints